It happens enough times. You’re busy reinstalling Windows for someone when you find that you can’t install Windows Updates because the internet connection available is slowly than a milk float delivering breeze blocks instead of milk.
In so far as keeping up-to-date, the issue is no longer “How soon can the updates be installed on the computer?” It is actually “Can I even download updates on my computer?”
The odds are that if you are using Windows XP pre-SP2, the answer is simply ‘no’. Whenever you’re behind on a service pack, Microsoft likes to ensure that this becomes part of the download set. And that 200MB+ download might take a little while on dial-up. Once you’ve completed this, you’ll probably find another 100MB+ worth of updates to install afterwards.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways around this.
Downloading the redistributable versions of the various service packs is a piece of cake – they can be downloaded from the Microsoft website without too much effort. The subsequent rollups prove to be more of a nuisance.
Enter AutoPatcher. This is a handy little project for those folk who have all of those problems, and then some. What I particularly like is the semi-frequent updates that do not require you to download a complete CD of updates. So having a full download and the latest update CD does the job nicely. On my next visit to this school where I need the files, I’ll hopefully be able to install the updates with the minimum of fuss – then I’ll be a happy chappy.